Optimizing Multi-Cell Massive MIMO for Spectral Efficiency: How Many Users Should Be Scheduled?

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


IEEE Global Conference on Signal and Information Processing (GlobalSIP), Atlanta, USA (2014)


—Massive MIMO is a promising technique to increase the spectral efficiency of cellular networks, by deploying antenna arrays with hundreds or thousands of active elements at the base stations and performing coherent beamforming. A common rule-of-thumb is that these systems should have an order of magnitude more antennas, N, than scheduled users, K, because the users’ channels are then likely to be quasi-orthogonal. However, it has not been proved that this rule-of-thumb actually maximizes the spectral efficiency. In this paper, we analyze how the optimal number of scheduled users, K?, depends on N and other system parameters. The value of K? in the large-N regime is derived in closed form, while simulations are used to show what happens at finite N, in different interference scenarios, and for different beamforming.

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